On Monday evening, a man levied a storm grate he lifted off the street at the glass of the main entrance to the westbound Line 720 bus I was riding in retaliation to being booted off the bus for non-payment.
Luckily, the glass didn’t shatter completely. Our bus driver was shaken, though, and she had to ask us passengers to vacate the bus because it was no longer safe for her to operate it.
The driver had us fill out witness cards. Metro conveniently provided pencils with the package of witness cards, which I thought was a nice touch.My driver exhibited professionalism throughout the whole incident. She offered people transfers to catch the Big Blue Bus 2, which also runs west of UCLA along Wilshire, free of charge.
I really respected the way that the driver sought to enforce fairness, by ensuring that everyone paid their fare. I also respected the fact that the driver tried to make sure that her bus was free of foul-mouthed, obnoxious passengers. Per the driver’s request, I sent on pictures taken on my phone to her supervisor, who thanked me personally for coming forward as a witness.
This also made me pause to contemplate the dire state of public health care for the mentally ill at both county and the VA, for I am fairly certain that someone who was well would not have communicated his frustration by levying a 50 pound storm drain grate at a bus and its driver.
But these kinds of things happen once in a blue moon. In general, riding mass transit itself is pretty safe, in my opinion. For me, I put myself in more danger when I’m behind the wheel of my own car.